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Wednesday 30 May 2018

The old car

A routine trip to the gas station recently became a treat when this vehicle pulled in next to us at the adjoining pumps. Of course my camera was close by and I asked the driver if I could take some photos of his car.

He was the owner and discovered this 1932 Plymouth in an old building twenty years ago. He did all the work on it himself. “It’s what I do,” he said.

I asked, “Do you drive it very often?”

“Every day,” was the reply.

He has modified the car with air conditioning and replaced the vinyl-like roof for a solid one. He also put in an overhead console. 

The rest is from stock, original parts. It has a rumble seat which he has removed but it can be re-positioned.

“You must feel like a million bucks driving around in this beauty,” I commented.

He laughed. “People wave but all I see is hands,” he said. The windshield doesn’t have a large field of view.

We spoke of how the world has changed since this old car was new. One can say they don’t make them like this any more, but he is one of the few who can. Quite a talent!

Monday 28 May 2018

The encounter

Our first major hike of the year brought us to the Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park, one of our favourite places to explore. It was sunny but the air was cool requiring a jacket. Georgie, the golden grand-dog was with us again. She also loves these trails.

There were a few people at the park when we arrived at lunch time. Of course we had our picnic lunch with us and were hungry after a busy morning. The picnic area has solid wood furniture in a lovely setting and is well groomed.

As we approached our favourite picnic table, a red squirrel ran past us and around the spruce tree which shadows the table. Georgie, who was on lead, was ready to give chase but I held her tightly. As we settled in for lunch, her attention was riveted, watching the squirrel around the tree.

Then the little creature climbed up and sat among the limbs of the tree making sounds, as if to taunt or tease Georgie. 

You could imagine it saying, “Nanh, nanh, na nanh nanh. You can’t get me.”

I secured Georgie as we ate and she watched the taunting little creature. After a few minutes, the squirrel realized Georgie could not move around and she came down the tree again. She stopped a few feet from Georgie and they stared at each other.

Neither animal made a sound or moved a muscle for a number of minutes.

As we prepared to leave, squirrel ascended the tree again. We left a peanut for her. Later, when we checked, the peanut was gone. We left her another. Georgie had one also, though she ate the shell too.

Friday 25 May 2018

Life force

The roots on the paths over the Bonshaw Hills are sacred. They are the vessels of the planet bringing the life fluid up to the leaves where oxygen, our breath of life, is produced. They are a reminder of the interdependence of humankind and nature. 

And again this spring, as the deciduous trees begin to leaf again and the coniferous trees become a more vibrant green, 

these vessels have been busy, the fluid has been pumping. The woodlands are alive now, awake from the long winter nap. Everything is in high gear as the forest awakens.

She doesn’t have long to switch into high gear either but she is glorious already. The leaves are beginning to appear so that hint of green is everywhere now. 

The forest floor, which will soon be darkened by the overhead canopy, has taken the opportunity these last few weeks to turn green too.

Last year’s ferns are flattened into the earth but fiddleheads are reaching skyward.

Mosses are hard at work on old tree stumps returning them back to the earth.

Birch trees are further along with leafing than other trees. 

As we climb the hills and look down through the woodland, the hint of green through the trees is invigorating. Being here in the heart of nature is good for body and soul.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Family celebration

It was a day of celebration. Our grandson Owen turned one and we were also celebrating Mother’s Day on the first opportunity we could all be together. After our traditional Mother’s Day lobster dinner, fishing with our daughter and the kids was on the agenda.

When they arrived, the kids dug for worms with Poppy in Nanny’s vegetable patch. 

Both girls looked for the fattest, longest and most active worms and were happy to handle them. Caitlin referred to them as, “The juicy ones.”

Lobster for Mother’s Day is usually our first lobster of the season. This year, we also had fresh snow crab, a real treat that we will add to our menu more often this time of year. The kids, including Owen, love crab as well as lobster.

Dessert was chocolate cake and since it was his first birthday, as is our tradition, Owen fed himself the cake. 

He needed a bath before we headed out to the pond for an afternoon of fishing.

This expedition on this beautiful spring day was perfect in every way. Sylvie, who didn’t catch any trout last time, caught six.

Caitlin eventually caught four as did our daughter, though all were released back to grow bigger.

Owen, Poppy and I were observers. And happy ones at that! 

It was a perfect celebration.

Monday 21 May 2018

Exploring Cousin’s Shore

Time for a walk on the beach! The north shore of the island is the first place that comes to mind on such an occasion, so we head out on a sunny day. Though it is 18 degrees C, the wind from the west is high though warm. The golden grand-dog, Georgie is with us. Lunch on the beach is also part of the plan.

                               Georgie smiles during lunch among the dunes

Cousin’s Shore is an area of beach which is bordered on either side by the red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island. Cousin’s Pond empties into the Gulf of St Lawrence along this section of beach. Fishing boats pass by as the fishers ply their trade and head back to ports along the coast.

We are the only people in the area. The cottages along the shoreline are empty this time of year. A colony of seagulls stands facing into the wind at the mouth of the stream from Cousin’s Pond. 

Wind gusts blow around the sand, though not enough to deter us. The wind on the waves sends a spray upward from the shallow water. Swallows play around us, too swift to photograph.

Low tide provides me with the opportunity to explore along the base of the cliffs. 

The sandstone is familiar but this area has never been accessible when we’ve been here before. 

The bank swallows have their nests in the soil layer above the sandstone.

The stone itself is varied in appearance and texture. The layers in the cliff have a story for sure.

This rock surface is at sea level and covered by high tide.

They look like deposits of sand but this configuration at sea level is unusual here.

While I am there, a little visitor comes by to keep me company. It looks like a song sparrow but is much bigger. This beauty stays and watches me for the longest time.

Various coloured fishing buoys sit against the cliffs in this area, having broken from their fishing lines last season and cast ashore over the winter.

The beach draws me back to my companions to continue our walk. Despite the occasional blast of sand, it was a perfect time at Cousin’s Shore.

Friday 18 May 2018

The look of spring

The blogging community keeps me apprised of the progress of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The new green of tree and shrub, the restored green of grass and the sprout and blossom of plants and flowers are all well under way. It is on Prince Edward Island as well, but at a slower pace.

To illustrate, I stopped at Irishtown this week to photograph our spring progress. My husband and I love this area and stop several times every year to walk the Millman Road and look out over the rolling hills. In a few weeks the apple blossoms will draw us back here again.

This is the Millman Road this week. The deciduous trees are still asleep.

Nearby the countryside shows that preparation of the fields for this year’s crop is well underway.

The rolling hills have yet to acquire their deciduous green as the newly ploughed fields wait for planting.

Grass is in various stages of green.

The small village church looks over the scene.

We have to wait two more weeks.  

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Birds birds everywhere 2

On our excursions around the island this spring, the birds continue to amaze us.

This American kestral sat on a wire overlooking the marshland in Tignish Shores.

Male and female Red breasted mergansers swam around with a Common merganser in a pond on the northwest coast.  

Double crested cormorants stood on the ice watching other cormorants float in the water.

This Red breasted pheasant casually crossed the road in front of us one day and walked into a field. He wouldn’t turn around and pose.

Northern shovelers swam in a distant pond opposite Covehead and tested the zoom of my camera.

The Osprey returned to their nests overlooking the boardwalk.

Male and female Ring necked ducks swam in a pond on the side of the road near Indian River.

The shorebirds are on their way back. Yay!

Monday 14 May 2018


Last week, our seniors’ book club met for the final time this spring. My home replaced our usual meeting place in a local church basement since we were having a little “lunch” after the meeting, tea or coffee, snacks, dessert, whatever we brought to share. 

The book was Punishment by Linden MacIntyre and it gave us lots to talk about. MacIntyre has a true sense of small town, east coast life where the weather is a character. His story is woven through its Cape Breton and Ontario settings with great skill.

This long time journalist is a wonderful writer as his second novel, The Bishop’s Man, attests. It won the Giller prize, a prestigious literary award in Canada. Punishment did not disappoint either. MacIntyre’s knowledge of the prison system in this country, acquired over decades of his career in journalism and his own personal interest, make the prison portion of the novel realistic and enlightening. Sometimes though, the real criminals walk among us, unencumbered by the law.

The book was the medium for us, eight women who spoke of our experiences of the book and our own life experiences. There were funny moments too though the book covers a serious topic. 

The wealth of knowledge and life experience of our group, whose ages span thirty years in the senior category, are as vast as the country we live in. We represent various parts of Canada from extremes of west to east, immigrants and islanders. We view our lives through the lenses of those experiences and we share a love of books. We have all worked in this country and understand our society and culture. We bring our family heritage and personalities to each book and meeting.

I love to read but it can be a solitary activity. Some of my favourite times with books come from sharing them with others, such as reading to my grandchildren, or discussing books at book club. Such experiences never fail to warm my heart and bring a smile. 

The reading will go on but October is so far away!

Friday 11 May 2018


It was a great day for reflection. Scales Pond sat in the still air and the shoreline was repeated in its surface. Adding to the scene, the birds were busy, blue Jays, song sparrows, blackbirds, sang their tunes or chirped their time away as they flitted from tree to tree. 

As I walked along the shoreline, the scenes were perfect, a huge tree reached high into the sky and across the pond.

This island looks to have more grass than it did in reality and the forest enclosed it.

Another island is surrounded by the trunks of trees.

A bird’s nest placed for the creatures has a partner.

The top of the pond reflects the setting as the trouters in boats are absorbed into the reflection.

Here the boaters are spread across the water as well as the trees behind them. The slight ripple on the water at this point added to the interest of the scene.

Finally, my favourite shot. The trees along the shoreline are mirrored to perfection as I stand in admiration on the opposite bank.

The natural world has a way to make us stop and take a deep breath every now and then.